Wednesday, July 3, 2013

the part-ay

Since Gwen’s first birthday party was well over two weeks ago, I guess it’s about time to write a little recap. The theme of Gwen’s party was “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Katie was the one who put the idea in my head and I’m so glad she did because it fit just perfectly. Not only because Evalyn’s first birthday party was also the title of a theme song (A Bushel and a Peck) …(sidenote: I seem to have started a trend here… I need to start thinking of other theme songs that could work for parties for future children)….but also because throwing a rainbow theme birthday party in the summer is the easiest thing ever.

Basically, anything that is any bright colour would work for decorations and bright colours are very easy to come by in the summertime. Most of the decorations were things I already had or things from the dollar sections at Target/Walmart and the Dollarstore.

When I thought of the theme I set Elizabeth off to work on creating an invitation and decoration package. And she did not disappoint. Obviously. Her work is always so wonderful. If you’re looking for invitations, birth announcements, nursery prints or anything of the sort, head over to her shop.

After a few (okay, more than a few) back and forths (thanks for your patience Liz!) we had exactly what I was looking for…

Gwens party post

She also made coordinating cupcake toppers, favour tags, food labels and a banner … all which you will see in the following photos. Combined with a friend from church cutting scalloped circles and rectangles die cuts out for me – the decorations were easy and perfect!

I had a major brain fart and planned Gwen’s birthday for Father’s Day. Why didn’t anyone tell me this in the planning process? I’m not sure. Anyway, it wasn’t until well after the invitations had been designed, printed and distributed that I even realized it. Ah well, cute baby Gwennie trumps Dads any day of the week.

When I set out to plan Gwen’s first party, my goal was to have a cute, fun party without going (too far) over the top like I did for Eva’s.


The thing is, once I start, I just can’t stop.

But being totally honest, I really did achieve this goal. Although my husband still teased me about the level of detail at this party, it was not as intense as Eva’s. Making 40 candy apples the day before a birthday party? Never again. Like I said, most of the decorations were things I already had and/or inexpensive and easy to make or put together. Especially since I suckered my girl Briar into making all the tissue poms for me. One of my favourite accents to the decorations was wrapping a ton of variously sized, empty boxes in two different patterns of wrapping paper that fit with the colours and theme of the party. This was such a cute, simple and CHEAP way to add a lot of POP to the tables. Adding the extra height and patterns really did a lot for the look of things.

I decided on a taco bar for the food – of course, there’s nothing inherently rainbow like in a taco bar, but it was fun and colourful and most importantly, delicious. I did both taco beef and shredded BBQ taco chicken. We also served chips, salsa, guacamole, queso, veggies and southwest ranch dip, texmex quinoa salad, taquitos and 7-layer dip. For dessert, there were cupcakes (duh) made my Evan’s talented cousin, rainbow fruit kabobs made by my girl C-Bisc, with “fluffy cloud” dip (marshmallow fluff and cream cheese), and a candy buffet.




For favours, I skipped making favours for the adults (sorry, friends!) and just stuck with the kids. At Eva’s first birthday there were hardly any kids so I did the candy apples for adults but this time, there were a plethora of kids so it was great to focus on them. I gave the kids a sand bucket with shovel, filled with “rainbow” stuff – freezies, rainbow goldfish, skittles, playdoh, sidewalk chalk, crayons and bubbles. For a guestbook, I had a copy of a “Somewhere over the Rainbow” book for people to sign (this is the same thing I did at Evalyn’s party). I also had tissue poms hanging in various spots and a 12 month photo display of Gwennie. I don’t have good pictures of either of these things because they were all on windows. The tissue poms hung in place of our curtains and the 12 monthly photos were mounted on scalloped rectangles and displayed on the window behind the food table.


I started to get a wee bit (okay a lot bit) nervous in the week leading up to the party because the weather forecast was not looking good. We were expecting about 25 people, plus kids and well, our house just isn’t cut out for that many people. We were so blessed that the rain stopped about an hour before the party started and the sun poked through the clouds, giving us a beautiful afternoon for the party. The bright side is that our icky, unfinished basement is in better shape than it ever has been since we got it all ‘cleaned’ up in the event I had to banish the boys downstairs to play pool. It was a good thing it turned out to be inside, too, because my Sweet Girl was pretty overwhelmed with the chaos when everyone started arriving. It was good for for us to get outside and spread out.

The day was all together so much fun – a wonderful afternoon of celebrating our sweet girl. I guess for the rest of the post, the best thing is to just let the photos do the talking…

Our Family




Normally I don’t think I’d post so many photos of people eating but every time I look through the pics, I can’t help but laugh at the “baby row”, as I called it. Seven little high chairs all in a row. Are my kids blessed or what?


The cake smash.


After Gwen was finished with her smash cake, I thought it would be HIGH-LARIOUS to pretend to smash it in Evan’s face. Then he started asking me why the icing stunk so bad. I was completely annoyed by him asking this out loud in front of everyone since Caley (who made the cupcakes) was sitting RIGHT there. And, well, you know, she's pregnant and hormonal and I was afraid she would cry and be embarrassed about the stinky icing. So I gave him an evil "shut your pie hole right now if you know what's good for you" stare and took a whiff of the cake to prove it didn't stink. And, yeah, you know the rest. Joke's on me. I was covered in icing for days. cake1

It’s so hard to believe my second baby’s birthday has already come and gone. A year has been quick enough to go by in an instant and long enough to change our hearts forever. Thank you to everyone who has celebrated her first year with us!    


Katie @ Loves of Life said...

I loved it :) I really need you to get here now and help me with Lucy's, k thanks.

Joyce said...

I love the idea of basing the theme of the party on a song and having the book to sign. I thought of a few more for you (And all these are available on Amazon):

Snuggle Puppy

All God's Creatures (Have a Place in the Choir)

He's Got the Whole World in His Hands

Inch By Inch (The Garden Song)

SnoWhite said...

Wow -- what a day! Sounds like it was just as special as your little G!